Grabe gyud kalisod sauna labi na kay onse kabuok among anak unya halos nagdungan-dungan og eskwela unya pag-uma ra among income (it was so hard before because we have 11 children and almost in the closer grade level and our means of income was only farming),” shared Adelfa Enriquez.

Elpidio and Adelfa, with their children and grandchildren.

Adelfa shared that before their family’s inclusion in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), they experienced difficulties in their lives. They sent all their children to school despite the family’s meager income. She also expressed that all family members perform household chores and help on their farm.

She remembered the many times they had not met their children’s school needs.

Determination

Adelfa and Elpidio Enriquez have molded their children to be kind, responsible, and intelligent. The couple’s sacrifices in supporting their education always paid off because of the several academic awards their children received during closing exercises. Most of their children always emerged at the top of their class.

The parents are so determined and inspired to send them to school because of their children’s stellar academic performance until the eldest child got pregnant while studying in her third year of college. The parents admitted that they were disappointed because they always reminded their children to finish their studies so they could have a better life in the future.

For Adelfa and Elpidio, to have a child is a blessing from God. They believed every parent should be responsible for rearing and providing their basic needs. Since their daughter has a new family, their two grandchildren live with them.

The couple admitted that their college students often make promissory notes for them to take the examination. They said they borrowed money for their children’s tuition and daily allowance.

The Enriquez family lived in a small house made of light materials in Barangay San Jose, Getafe, a northern town in Bohol.

4Ps beneficiary

The family became a beneficiary of 4Ps in 2011, a poverty alleviation program of the government that invests in the health, nutrition, and education of poor eligible households, implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and works in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Health (DOH), and other partner national government agencies and local government units.

Adelfa used the cash grant intended for the education and health of their children, specifically as an augmentation for their daily school allowance, food, school supplies, uniforms, and vitamins.

She admitted that sometimes they would use the cash grant for the tuition fee of her college students, especially during the examination, because they cannot take the test without paying it. Adelfa said that unlike in elementary and high school, one could ask for an extension from the class advisers.

She also shared that the program’s monthly Family Development (FDS) provided them with additional knowledge. Her favorite topics include handling their family and the guidance in improving their family’s well-being level.

Community Leader

As an active community leader and involved in different organizations such as the San Jose Farmers Organization and San Jose Fisherfolk Associations, where he serves as Board of Director, his leadership has left a mark on his neighbors. They then convinced him to run as Punong Barangay. Fortunately, the community elected him for three (3) terms. His salary as a public servant helped meet their family’s needs.

Like her husband, Elpidio, Adelfa also actively involved herself in several organizations in their barangay. She serves as president of the local women’s organization, a vice president of Barangay Pastoral Council, and a KALAHI-CIDSS volunteer who implements community projects. Adelfa has rendered duty for 12 years now as a board member of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of San Jose Elementary School.

The couple’s active involvement in different community activities paved the way for Elpidio and Adelfa’s participation in various capability-building activities, leadership training, and seminars that helped shape and develop their leadership skills.

Like their parents and grandparents, the Enriquez children and grandchildren also do well as class officers in their school. They have been active in many organizations and clubs and have received several recognitions.

Self-sufficient level

The family is proud that their sacrifices paid off with the support of the 4Ps. The dreams they have for their children turned into reality. Some Enriquez children finished their education and became successful in their chosen fields.

She said that before, it was like they were playing basketball. They had to find their way to take the shot. She considers every three-point shot a triumph for her children’s education.

Elpidio and Adelfa have been proud parents to an agriculturist, three (3) police officers, a pawnshop staff, and an agriculture graduate who now works as a casual employee of the Municipal Agriculture Office. Four (4) of the six (6) professional children are now married and happily live with their own families.

The four (4) remaining children and the two (2) grandchildren have continued their studies. Of the children, one is a senior high school student, and three are college students. The grandchildren, Brilliant Gyle and Brent, are in junior high school and elementary, respectively.

From left: Enriquez’s abode, then and now. A sign of improvement.

With the help of their children, the couple was also able to build stronger and bigger house that could withstand typhoons.

Okay nami mograduate sa programa kay naa naman mi mga anak na nakalampos ug makatabang kanamo. Dako na ang nahatag sa programa sa among pamilya ug karon ato na kining ihatag sa laing pamilya nga labaw nga nanginahanglan (We can now graduate from the program since we already have children who finished their studies and who can help us. The program has helped our family a lot and this time we can give this to other families who need the help the most),” shared Adelfa.

Adelfa advised her fellow 4Ps beneficiaries to make some sacrifices for the sake of their children’s future.

Ang pagpa-eskwela nila dili para nato kundi para rapod sa ilang kaugmaon ug gamiton nato og sakto ang cash grant nga gihatag sa programa (Sending them to school is not for us but for their future and use the cash grant wisely which is provided by the program),” she said it matter-of-factly. ###

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